Esalen: America And The Religion Of No Religion

Jeffrey J. Kripal, Esalen: America and the Religion of No ReligionThis episode is work safe.

Esalen Institute is a combination alt-think tank, academic community and sensual retreat perched on the Pacific-facing cliffs of Big Sur, California. Its thinkers formed the leading edge of American culture for decades. Here was ground zero of the 1960s social revolution: the sweaty hot-tub commingling of free love, tantric yoga, Buddhist meditation and Gestalt therapy-as well as the academy for the propagation of the human-potential movement. Outlaw all-stars like Aldous Huxley, Allen Ginsberg and Hunter S. Thompson felt the pull of the place. Now scholar Jeffrey Kripal has produced the first all-encompassing history of Esalen: its intellectual, social, personal, literary and spiritual passages. Kripal brings us up-to-date and takes us deep beneath historical surfaces in this definitive, elegantly written book

Interview with Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion.

We discuss what is the Esalen Institute and what is >Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion about; what he felt he needed to expand upon from his last book, On The Edge Of The Future: Esalen And The Evolution Of American Culture; the myths and reality of Esalen Institute; what initially attracted him to the Esalen; ideas that came form the Esalen Institue that have become mainstream; balancing science and religion and how to incorporate the two in life; does science try to encapsulate divinity; Frederic Spiegelberg; the connection between sexuality and spirituality; how America is dealing with questions of gender.

Featured song is "Concerto No. 1 for Tabla and Percussion Quartet" by Shawn Mativetsky.

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